Panels Discuss Best Practices for Developing Public-Private Partnerships while Protecting Workers
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (October 12, 2011) – Today, Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown convened a meeting of the Joint Legislative and Executive Commission on Oversight of Public-Private Partnerships to discuss best practices for establishing public-private partnerships while ensuring strong workforce protections. The fifteen-member Commission, chaired by Lt. Governor Brown, heard from experts who have developed processes for creating public-private partnerships in other states, as well as from representatives of national and state labor organizations.
“In these difficult economic times, encouraging private investment in public infrastructure can help put Marylanders to work while laying the foundation for economic growth,” said Lt. Governor Brown. “One of the most important tasks of our commission is to evaluate best practices for creating public-private partnerships in order to maximize their potential in Maryland while ensuring we maintain critical protections for our workforce.”
Today’s hearing included two panels of experts in public-private partnerships. The first panel, focusing on processes for developing these partnerships, included Samara Barend, Vice President and Strategic Development Director for Public- Private Partnerships, AECOM; Laurene B. Mahon, Independent Infrastructure Consultant; Margie W. Ray, Program Manager, Commonwealth of Virginia’s Office of Transportation Public-Private Partnerships; Chris Lloyd, McguireWoods Consulting, LLC; and Warren G. Deschenaux, Director, Office of Policy Analysis, Maryland Department of Legislative Services.
The second panel focused on ensuring protections for workers involved in public-private partnerships and included Dennis Houlihan, Labor Economist, AFSCME International; Nancy Van Meter, Deputy Director, Research Department, American Federation of Teachers (AFT); Gerry Waites, Partner, O'Donoghue & O'Donoghue LLP, on behalf of Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust (LECET); Sonia Axter, Managing Director Infrastructure Investments, the Union Labor Life Insurance Company Investment Company (ULLICO); and Ellen Dannin, Fannie Weiss Distinguished Faculty Scholar and Professor of Law, The Dickinson School of Law, Penn State University.
The Joint Legislative and Executive Commission on Oversight of Public-Private Partnerships was established in 2010 under House Bill 1370 to evaluate the State’s framework and oversight of public-private partnerships. Under Lt. Governor Brown’s leadership, the Commission is working to fulfill its responsibilities and increase the potential for private investment in public infrastructure projects. This includes assessing the oversight, best practices, and approval processes for public-private partnerships in other states; evaluating the definition of public-private partnership; making recommendations concerning the appropriate manner of conducting legislative monitoring and oversight of public-private partnerships; and making recommendations concerning broad policy parameters within which public-private partnerships should be negotiated. It will release a report to the Governor and General Assembly by the end of the year.
Lt. Governor Brown leads the O’Malley-Brown Administration’s economic development portfolio. He is Chair of the recently launched FastTrack initiative – part of Maryland Made Easy (www.easy.maryland.gov) – to streamline the state permitting process for businesses and developers and he serves as Chair of the Governor’s Subcabinet on Base Realignment and Closure.